Jebel Ali free zone company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN JEBEL ALI

Jebel Ali (JAFZA) is the pioneering free zone in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and more than 7,100 companies have operations there. JAFZA company formation is an ideal, tax-efficient way for entrepreneurs to conduct international business.

SummaryLLCTax exempt LLCPublic limited companyLimited liability partnershipBranch office
Also known asFZEJAFZA offshore companyPLCFZCOBranch office
Best use of company?All products and servicesHolding companyTo secure public fundingProfessional servicesSpecific projects
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?3 months1 month4 months3 months2 months
How soon can you hire staff?3 months1 month4 months3 months2 months
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?4 months2 months5 months4 months3 months
How long to supply company registration numbers?3 months1 month4 months3 months2 months
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?0%0%0%0%0%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNo
Government incentives available?YesYesYesYesYes
Government approval required for foreign owners?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?US$27,250US$1US$1US$136,200N/A
Can bid for government contracts?YesNoYesYesYes
Corporate bank account location?ENBDNBADADCBFGBMashreq Bank
Can secure trade finance?YesNoYesYesYes
VAT payable on sales to local customers?0%0%0%0%0%
Average total business set up engagement costs?US$23,363US$15,700US$23,363US$23,363US$23,363
Average total engagement period?5 months3 months6 months5 months4 months

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsLLCTax exempt LLCPublic limited companyLimited liability partnershipBranch office
Statutory corporate tax payable?0%0%0%0%0%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?YesYesYesYesYes
Group HQ tax incentives?YesYesYesYesYes
Must file an annual tax return?NoNoNoNoNo
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYes
Must appoint an auditor?YesNoYesYesYes
Access to double taxation treaties?YesNoYesYesYes
Withholding tax on payments to foreign shareholders?0%0%0%0%0%
Company RegistrationLLCTax exempt LLCPublic limited companyLimited liability partnershipBranch office
Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?NoNoNoNoYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?1122Parent company
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?100%100%100%100%100%
Minimum statutory paid up share capital?US$27,250US$1US$1US$136,200N/A
Security deposit to be kept with government?NoNoNoNoNo
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesYesNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?3 months1 month4 months3 months2 months
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesNoN/AYesNo
Public register of shareholders and directors?NoNoYesNoNo
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesYesYes
Business ConsiderationsLLCTax exempt LLCPublic limited companyLimited liability partnershipBranch office
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesNoYes
Can secure an import and export license?YesNoYesYesYes

Sponsorship by a local citizen required?No
Our Client needs to travel to UAE for business set up?Yes, for account opening.
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory?No
Can be wholly foreign owned?Yes
The entity will likely be regulated by?JAZFA
Minimum number of directors/managers?1
Monthly VAT reporting to the government?No
Must sign an office lease agreement during incorporation?Yes
Shareholders & directors documents to be attested/translated?Yes
Each foreign director needs a personal income tax number?No
Foreign director needs a residence visa?No
Maximum number of staff allowed?No maximum number for any entity
Expatriate to local staff ratio?None
Can secure residence visa for business owner?Yes
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Click link
This country has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average custom duties suffered?0%
Government foreign investment approval required?No
Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m)45
Minimum statutory monthly salary?None
Average monthly US$ salary for local skilled employees?3,000
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)2%
Overseas remittance currency controls?None
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Good
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.

  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Jebel Ali free zone company registration

    1. Incorporating in the Jebel Ali Free Zone can be advantageous for our Clients because:
        JAFZA business registration

      • JAFZA is the world’s largest free zone, which is ideally located within a short distance from one of the busiest airports and seaports in the world. As a result, our Clients wishing to setup a company for product distribution to Europe and Northern Africa will benefit from a JAFZA company;
      • Our Clients incorporating in JAFZA will benefit from the first rate infrastructure within the zone. Furthermore, due to its location in Dubai, a JAFZA company will be able to use the city’s highly efficient roadways and railways to transfer the goods within the UAE;
      • Following advantages will be afforded to a JAFZA entity: i) 100% corporate tax exemption ii) 100% personal tax exemption iii) 100% import and re-export duty exemption iv) efficient customs authorities and v) free repatriation of capital from the zone;
      • A JAFZA company can be completely foreign owned as 51% shareholding by a UAE national is not required. Furthermore, anonymity of directors and shareholders is assured as the UAE public register does not disclose this information. Lastly, there is no restriction on the hiring of expatriate employees in the zone;
      • A JAFZA entity can be setup as i) a branch/representative office of a foreign company ii) a free zone company or iii) a free zone establishment. Our Clients may choose one of these entities based on the i) initial investment amount and ii) number of shareholders;
      • Alternatively, our Clients may choose to incorporate an offshore company in JAFZA. For setup of such entity, there is no minimum share capital requirement. Also, our Client will not be allowed to rent office space within the zone. However, an offshore entity may conduct transactions within the zone;
      • Our Clients will have the option of obtaining the following licenses in JAFZA: i) General Trading License ii) Trading License iii) Industrial License iv) National Industrial License and v) Service License. For information about these, kindly refer to the list of JAFZA licenses.

    Disadvantages of Jebel Ali free zone company registration

    1. Jebel Ali business has a high minimum capital requirement of Dhs1 million (US$270,000) for a Free Zone Enterprise (FZE), which must be paid up during incorporation. The minimum capital for a Free Zone Company (FZC) and limited liability company is Dhs500,000 (US$136,000);
    2. JAFZA is the most expensive UAE free zone in which to set up a business. For example, one-off registration fees for a free zone Jebel Ali business setup amount to DHS15,000 (US$4,080). Furthermore, the fee for a General Trading License amounts to DHS30,000, compared to DHS7,000 in Ajman;
    3. Jebel Ali business setup is time consuming and difficult. International entrepreneurs should budget for five weeks for Healy Consultants to obtain the company registration certificate and operating license. Our staff will assist our Client with JAFZA company registration without our Client needing to travel to the UAE;
    4. There can be a waiting list for companies requiring office or warehousing space in the JAFZA because of the limited availability of space.
  • Best uses for a Jebel Ali company

    1. Jebel Ali company is an prime way to legitimately book international profits without paying local corporation tax. A Jebel Ali business is legally exempted from import and export taxes. Furthermore, there is no personal income tax in the UAE.

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Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Jebel Ali, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
JAFZADP World JAFZA